Car News 24 Feb 2016

Drivers Face Potential Car Hire Chaos This Summer

Drivers Face Potential Car Hire Chaos This Summer

British travellers heading abroad this summer are being warned of potential car hire disruption, following the DVLA’s announcement that it will scrap the paper counterpart of the driving licence from the 8th June.

Car-hire companies currently use the paper portion of the licence to check if a motorist has any penalty points and fines, but in future staff will have to use the DVLA’s new online system called ‘Share Driving Licence’ to find this information.

From the 8th June, travellers will have to log on to the DVLA website the day before they depart and enter their driving licence and national insurance numbers.  The system will then generate a special code that can be passed to the car-hire company so they can check the driver’s licence details and any penalty points on their record.

However the code will only be valid for 72 hours, meaning holidaymakers who are away for longer than three days may have to obtain a second code.  As an alternative, car-hire companies will be able to call the DVLA’s premium rate line to obtain driver information, but the concern is they might not be able to get through, as the service will have ‘restricted hours of operation’.

In spite of the DVLA’s claim that the new system has been widely publicised, commentators fear that many car-hire companies in Europe are unaware of the coming change.  Travellers are advised to follow the DVLA’s instructions and check with their hire company before departing.

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